The special election (See for Prince William County’s Clerk of the Court, scheduled for April 18,2017, has been a relatively quiet affair, but we do have some funny fireworks.  So here is a reminder to vote and a few details about what I hope was just a snafu.

Who is running for the job?

Smith apparently is either an inexperienced candidate, or she is devious. The Republican Party of Virginia seems to think her devious, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

BREAKING: PWC, Manassas, Manassas Park Democrat Activists Distribute Illegal Sample Ballots

In a special election in Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City local Democrat Party activists are handing out illegal ballots with intent to fool voters! The “sample” ballots have an official seal on them with a disclaimer from the local electoral board and a marking for the Democrat candidate. The problem is all three of these issues run directly counter to our state’s election law!

Even more ironic, the special election is for the Clerk of Court position which oversees the areas courts. Local Democrat Party activists are breaking election laws in an attempt to insert someone to oversee the court system!

We will not let the Democrats get away with this travesty! RPV has notified the authorities and is fully prepared to take legal action to ensure this election is not rigged against our candidate.

Make sure to let the local Dem candidate know that we are on to her supporters illegal dirty tricks. Call her campaign at 571-529-9379! (from here)

What the picture shows is a flyer held over a sample ballot. Since it lacks detail, I am guessing the picture is just a picture someone took with a cellphone.  The sample ballot is marked for Jacqueline Smith. Apparently, Smith’s campaign just took the official sample ballot off (see that ballot here) and edited it. That’s a no-no, and a lawyer ought to know that.

Here is the official guidance from Virginia Department of Elections. Note that the “§” references are to sections in the legal Code of Virginia.

7. Sample Ballots:

a. On sample ballots, any official authority statement of a local electoral board or the State Board of Elections must be deleted, and replaced with the publishing candidate’s or group’s authority statement (or “disclaimer”). § 24.2-622.

b. For federal offices, the disclaimer required by federal law must be used. For all other offices, the required identification on campaign material is specified in the Code of Virginia. For details, see the State Board of Elections website or call Department of Elections.

c. Samples of any ballot (or part of a ballot) cannot be printed on any shade of white or yellow paper and must contain the words “ SAMPLE BALLOT ” in type no smaller than twenty -four point. § 24.2-622.

d. The voter is allowed to carry sample ballots and campaign material into the polling place but must not display them to other voters. §§ 24.2-622, 24.2-604.

(from here)

Because they copied an official sample ballot and printed it on blue paper (They know they are Democrats.), they got some of it right, but anything else they could have gotten wrong, they got wrong.

If Jacqueline Smith cannot prepare a sample ballot right, we probably should not trust her with the county’s official records. Please vote for Jackson Miller (R).



A Personal View (for what its worth)

What is my worst problem with blogging? I make mistakes. When I am not careful enough, I can forget to include one word in a sentence, like “not”, for example. Then the entire meaning of that sentence can change, and I will have embarrassed myself. Therefore, I strain against my own laziness and against time constraints, and I try to proofread my posts and my comments carefully.

Yet try as I might, I still make mistakes. What is my saving grace? I do not have a position worthy of note. Nobody can remove me from any public office. I don’t even get paid for blogging. Therefore, even though I cannot maintain a zero tolerance policy against mistakes, I can still blog and communicate my beliefs.

Others are not so fortunate. That’s especially true of Republicans officeholders. What happens when a Republican says or writes something, and it comes out wrong? The news media gleefully reports the matter, and Republicans officials, fearful of not being seen on the “right side of the issue,” call for their fellow Republican’s head on platter. Isn’t wonderful to have such loyal friends and allies?

Another Republican Party Feud

What’s the latest controversy over a verbal mishap? I first read about it at The Mason Conservative. Here is the post: We Need To Clean Our Own House.  And what hideous crime against the English language did report? Bob FitzSimmonds said something that should have drawn laughter, not condemnation. When he intended to use the word twaddle, he used the word twat.  Oops!       😳

Unfortunately, compounded FitzSimmonds‘ mistake.

I’m not entirely sure what he is trying to say, the syntax is especially Facebooky.  But folks, just so you know, not only has Bob FitzSimmonds run multiple times for office … he is the current RPV Treasurer!  I don’t know him well, we’ve engaged in debate on Facebook .. but we can’t have this shit anymore!  It is killing us!  He posted this over an hour ago and hasn’t had any response since them, despite pleading to apologize. (from here)

Think about that first clause. “I’m not entirely sure what he is trying to say….” All that excitement and a four-letter word over what was obviously a stupid mistake? Have FitzSimmonds‘ accusers bothered to consider what he was trying to say? Should we wonder why they do not seem to care?

What was predicable has happened. Here in Update: Va. GOP official apologizes for genital slang “error” Pilot on Politics reports the story. Naturally, Pilot on Politics dug up whatever it could to insinuate a pattern of conduct. Thus, Pilot on Politics FitzSimmonds is guilty of being a Republican.

What did FitzSimmonds actually do? He harmed no one but himself. He just made himself — not someone else — look foolish.

Is FitzSimmonds a loyal Republican? Is he competent? Is he an honorable individual?  Yes. Yes. And yes. Then what is the point of asking him to resign?

Unfortunately, the leadership of the Republican Party is also behaving predictably. Chairman Pat Mullins has called for FitzSimmonds to resign (see Va. Republican leaders call on GOP party treasurer to resign over Facebook post).

Predictably, Republicans have escalated a foolish mistake out of all proportion. Does Mullins intend to replace FitzSimmonds with someone whose words are always perfect? When we are talking about human beings and our traitorous tongues, who save the deaf and dumb can survive a zero tolerance tolerance policy that prohibits poorly chosen words? Chairman Pat Mullins has never made a dumb verbal mistake? He has? Then perhaps he should set the example and resign.

Instead of eating our own — and firing FitzSimmonds — perhaps we should reconsider.  What are we trying to accomplish? Is our object — the Republican Party’s object — to select the best candidates (in this instance to run in the 10th Congressional District) or to ban the word “twat” and all those other four-letter words from the English language?

Does the Republican Party want to be the word police? No? Nevertheless, instead of our candidates we are now focused on a silly word that just a few days ago hardly any of us would have recognized.

If we are going fire people for silly verbal mishaps, we may as well give up on campaigning for public office. Because there are no perfect people, we will spend more time worrying about how we communicate than what we communicate. If we insist upon zero tolerance of mistakes, we will not permit our candidates to say what they mean and mean what they say. Our own zero tolerance policy will not permit them to take such a risk.

What Do Democrats Do?

How do our opponents handle such matters?  How often do Democrats put their feet in their mouths? Don’t they in fact say and write the most outrageous nonsense, but do their fellow Democrats gang up on them and call for their resignations? No, of course they don’t, but why not? Is it just because most of the news media supports Democrats? Perhaps, but why should Republicans care what the news media thinks? The news media doesn’t like us, and everybody already knows it.

When we know FitzSimmonds meant no harm and just made a foolish mistake, calling for his resignation is plainly unjust. And doing it to appease a partisan news media just makes that injustice stupidly pointless.

What Does The Bible Suggest?

As usual there is passage in the Bible that fits the situation. When the Pharisees who opposed Him tried to use an adulterous woman as a proxy to entrap him, Jesus turned their trap back on them.

John 8:3-7 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Which of us is fit to cast that first stone? Which of us has not put his foot in his mouth? Jesus told that frightened woman to go and sin no more, but which of us can guarantee we will never say what we did not intend to say?

We punish the guilty to prevent crime. We don’t punish people just to get someone out of our way.

This Is Not The First Time

twat (n.) Look up twat at
female pudendum, 1650s, of unknown origin. A general term of abuse since 1920s.

The T-word occupies a special niche in literary history, however, thanks to a horrible mistake by Robert Browning, who included it in ‘Pippa Passes’ (1841) without knowing its true meaning. ‘The owls and bats,/Cowls and twats,/Monks and nuns,/In a cloister’s moods.’ Poor Robert! He had been misled into thinking the word meant ‘hat’ by its appearance in ‘Vanity of Vanities,’ a poem of 1660, containing the treacherous lines: ‘They’d talk’t of his having a Cardinalls Hat,/They’d send him as soon an Old Nuns Twat.’ (There is a lesson here about not using words unless one is very sure of their meaning.) [Hugh Rawson, “Wicked Words,” 1989]

Other Views

Note also several posts at THE BULL ELEPHANT. The titles of Jamie Radtke Joins the Chorus Urging Bob FitzSimmonds Not to Resign and Howie Lind Calls on Bob FitzSimmonds Not to Resign State Central Committee by explain the natures of these posts. Wasinger Campaign Calls Barbara Comstock “Raging Bitch”: UPDATED by  provides suggests we should be more concerned with premeditated insults.


Since I work in an industry that is subject to constant change, I suppose I must have at least some tendency to tinker. Hence, from time-to-time I will try a new blog theme. However, since the new one, Chateau, sometimes displayed text using fonts that were difficult to read, I went back to the old one, Twenty Ten.

Change is not always a good idea.


family friends neighbors

REVIEWING THE ACCURACY OF HAROLD ESTES CHARGES  — UPDATED 12/25/2012 has proven to be one of my more popular posts, and so long as people continue to forward Harold Estes’ email to their friends and acquaintances I suppose that popularity will continue. Why did I write that post? It fascinated me how some people reacted to Estes’ letter.  They locked on the details, and they ignored the broader truth. Here, A Rare Political Post: That Damn Letter Again!, is an example. Consider how the author, , cites my blog.

The blogger Citizen Tom does a good job of tracking down all the quotes which Harold B. Estes supposedly referenced in his letter. Most of them, as suspected, are taken out of context. But read it for yourself.

While I appreciate the compliment, I have to wonder whether Vick actually read my post. I don’t think Vick read my conclusion. In essence, I agree with Estes. Yet, if you read Vick’s post, you will find that he vehemently disagrees with Estes’ letter. Therefore, I think Vick merely scanned my post, found what he wanted to find, and then linked to my post.

So what’s the lesson here? Well, I actually see two.

  • If something is worth doing, then we must force ourselves to take the time to do it right.
  • If we want to understand why others believe what they believe, then we have to make the effort to put ourselves in their shoes.

Did Vick force himself to do it right? Usually we all avoid that sort of work. That is why we have all received a great many emails with wrong information. Our friends and relatives read an email that conforms to their world view, instantly believe what they have read is true, and so they forward that email to their family and friends. Like as not, when Vick read my post he did something similar. Instead of carefully reading what I wrote, he just saw what matched his preconceived notions and jumped to a conclusion.

Did Vick try to put himself in Estes’ shoes? I believe he thinks he did, but I think best to let others decide for themselves how well he succeeded.

Read A Rare Political Post: That Damn Letter Again! However, when you read Vick’s post, I suggest you try something I expect you will find difficult. Try putting yourself in Vick’s shoes and believing what he believes. Don’t think it worth the effort? When Christ Jesus died on Good Friday, He did more than that. He put himself in our place, and He suffered the punishment we deserve.